Complete Guide To Coping With Redundancy And Moving Forward

Don't let redundancy bring you down.

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Last updated: March 20th, 2024

coping with redundancy

Last updated: March 20th, 2024

Reading Time: 6 minutes

It’s never a good time to be made redundant. Although job loss is undeniably challenging and stressful, it can allow you to redefine yourself. It can be a sign to shake things up and reassess how you spend your working life.

Whilst you take time to think through your options, we’re here with:

  • Top strategies for optimising your job prospects.
  • Actionable steps for increasing your value in today’s job market.

Above all, try not to panic. Change can be daunting, but as Marie Forleo says, “everything is figureoutable.” 

1. Reframe The Situation. 

Shifting your perspective is the first and most important step in coping with redundancy.

Certain perspectives are more empowering than others.

Research suggests that genetics can influence our mindset, but the vast majority (60%) comes down to our choices. By intentionally practising an attitude of optimism, you can improve your outcomes, attract better opportunities, and improve your life.  

However, this takes consistent work. We recommend the following: 

  • Embrace: Perhaps the most challenging aspect is accepting the current circumstances as part of your journey. Letting go of fear, anger, sadness, and anxiety is an integral part of the process and can only be done once you have felt and processed those emotions. 
  • See the pros: Write a pros and cons list, focusing on your opportunity for newfound freedom, flexibility, and choice. Whilst the path forward may be uncertain, you can remain open-minded. 
  • Make a plan: You can use this time to develop new skills, expand your repertoire of industry-related knowledge, or focus on networking and expanding your circle of professional and personal contacts. The options are endless.

Important!

Remember to rely on your support systems, including family, friends, and professionals during this stressful time. Your loved ones will appreciate the opportunity to support and motivate you; be sure to let them know what you need.

2. Know Your Rights.

Knowing your rights during a period of redundancy gives you the information and power needed to respond to your situation. 

Whilst you may not have control over the redundancy, you should be well-equipped to face the process. This includes: 

  • Understanding payment entitlement.
  • Speaking out against unfair treatment.
  • Learning about your dispute resolution options.

In Australia, redundancy laws are regulated by the government. Your employee should give you an adequate notice period (one to four weeks, depending on your service period). 

There are also different payment options. Most of the time, payment is organised by the below structure: 

Period Of Continuous Service Weeks Of Pay.

  • At least one year, but under two years: 4
  • At least two years, but under three years: 6
  • At least three years, but under four years: 7
  • At least four years, but under five years: 8
  • At least five years, but under six years: 10
  • At least six years, but under seven years: 11
  • At least seven years, but under eight years: 13
  • At least eight years, but under nine years: 14
  • At least nine years, but under ten years: 16
  • At least ten years: 12

Important!

Contact the Fair Work Commission first if you think you were sacked because of discrimination or for a harsh, unjust, or unreasonable cause. You have 21 days to do this. 

3. Take A Breath For The Sake Of Your Mental Health.

Many people panic upon losing their jobs, scrambling to find employment immediately. But it’s important to take some time out to process your options for your mental well-being.

Finding another job right away may not be the best thing if you dive back into a career that previously made you unhappy.

(Related: Complete Guide To Setting Career Goals).

If you find another job quickly, you may miss the opportunity to consider what direction you want to head in. Hint: you don’t need to do something that is the same!

Consider taking time before signing on to a new position immediately if you can. This will allow you to: 

  • Assess your circumstances.
  • Evaluate your values, priorities, and requirements moving forward.
  • Speak to family and friends. 
  • Make a long-term plan. 
  • Explore a career change.

If you do not have the luxury of waiting, consider taking on a part-time or temporary position that doesn’t demand all of your time but provides financial stability. 

During this time, use the following reflective strategies:

  • Journal: Work through your thoughts and values (we recommend 10 minutes daily).
  • Socialise: Discuss your options with friends and family. Weigh up your options and review any financial, personal, or career goals.
  • Research: Begin job hunting by noting any educational opportunities, training, webinars, short courses, or classes you might want to undertake. More to come on this is below. 
  • Seek Support: Consult a therapist or online counsellor to support you through this huge life transition. Don’t underestimate how challenging it can be, particularly later in life.

(Related: Best Outplacement Services In Australia).

4. Manage Your Finances.

When dealing with redundancy, taking control of your finances is crucial and often the most stressful aspect.

It’s important to approach things pragmatically and develop a plan. We recommend that you: 

  • Make a Budget: Create a budget to allocate your savings weekly or monthly. Use this budget template to guide your process, and then track expenses to ensure you’re keeping on top of the budget.
  • Save Where You Can: Consider temporarily pausing subscription services until you feel financially stable. You can also shop for groceries at discounted stores or prepare food in bulk to save any daily last-minute expenses. 
  • Use Coupon Extensions: Use browser extensions like Rakuten, Shopback, or Honey to help identify coupon codes and save money when buying online.
  • Cancel Direct Debts: Pause any autopayments on specific loans (where you can) until you regain control of your finances.
  • Apply for Government Assistance: If you can, consider applying for unemployment or government welfare to support you as you seek employment. Discover if you are eligible in Australia here.

Taking control of your finances will allow you to regain some power and forge forward when coping with redundancy. 

(Related: 11 Weirdest Jobs In Australia).

4. Elevate Your Skills And Experiences. 

We recommend using this time to upskill yourself and ensure that you are indispensable in whichever new career path you choose.

You can do this in many ways: 

  • Try a new role: As mentioned, consider working part-time or full-time for a short period to learn new skills. Explore positions outside of your usual industry. 
  • Earning a certification: If working part-time (or on weekends), investigate certificates or short degrees to add to your resume. Many short courses are offered for free online and remote university options. 
  • Taking a class: You can learn about thousands of diverse subjects online or at local TAFEs and community colleges. E-learning platforms like Udemy and Thinkific offer affordable and comprehensive classes on various subjects.
  • Teach Yourself a New Skill: If you lack the time or resources to take a course, consider teaching yourself a new skill during your evenings. You can learn a new language on Duolingo or watch Youtube to learn how to play an instrument. 

(Related: 12 High-Paying Jobs That Don’t Require Experience).

5. Explore Your Options.

You may realise, after some introspection, that you don’t want to return to the same industry. And that’s okay! Utilise this time to consider exploring alternative careers and fields.

Ways to return to the workforce include the following: 

  • Shadow Someone: You’d be surprised how many people are willing to help you explore a new career path. Find opportunities to explore job shadowing or interning in a different industry. And yes, you can do this at any age. 
  • Talk to People: Reach out to professionals you admire on LinkedIn or whose jobs you are interested in for a coffee catch-up. Most people are happy to talk about their experiences and share their tips. 
  • Find a Career Coach: A career coach can provide personalised guidance, support, and resources to help individuals clarify their career goals, develop skills, overcome obstacles, and achieve success in their chosen field.

As you explore different options, you may realise that your job loss is actually a new beginning.

6. Don’t Burn Bridges.

During this challenging time, it’s important to remember to keep amicable relationships, regardless of how betrayed or angry you may feel towards the company responsible. 

Our tips: 

  • Maintain a positive mindset and be friendly with any previous colleagues.
  • Be careful what information you share and with whom, as this can make its way back to your ex-employer. 
  • When speaking to new employers, remove anger and frustration from any explanations.
  • Remaining respectful and courteous as much as possible whilst networking, which will allow new opportunities to come to you.

Expert Tip.

Just because you have been made redundant does not mean you can’t ask for a written recommendation from your previous boss. This is the least they can do to support you.

7. Start Networking.

Exchanging information, ideas, and experiences helps you remain informed and connected, especially during uncertain or complex times. 

Consider:

  • Using LinkedIn, the world’s fastest networking platform.
  • Utilising social media platforms like Instagram to connect with other professionals.
  • Attending online events, workshops, or seminars (and introducing yourself!).
  • Attending live events, speaker series, or readings in your local area.

Although networking is immensely beneficial, many people don’t have time for it or feel overwhelmed by putting themselves out there. 

You can take advantage of your unique situation to connect with others. You never know what opportunities may come from it!

(Related: How To Respond To Recruiters On LinkedIn).

8. Ready To Start Your New Job Search? 

Remember that you don’t need to take on a full-time job immediately.

When searching for a new job, it’s essential to take your time and keep your priorities front and centre to ensure you make the right decision moving forward.

Be sure to: 

  • Make a financial plan. 
  • Take time to get clear on what you want in the next chapter of your life. 
  • Focus on positions matching your experience and interests.
  • Revamp your resume and cover letter to reflect any newfound skills. You can utilise our guide here.
  • Research company culture and benefits for new offers that arise.

Redundancy doesn’t mean the end of your career; it’s an opportunity for a fresh start!

Navigating Your Way Through The Redundancy Process.

Coping with redundancy can be challenging and stressful, but it’s important to remember that it isn’t personal. Job loss happens to everyone, particularly in today’s unstable economy. It certainly does not negate the years (or potentially decades) of hard work and dedication you have contributed to a company. 

Our tips are to remember your rights, research your next steps, lean on your support network, try new things, and keep optimistic. Many resources are available to help you through this tough time, and many people have been through the same experience. 

One day, you may look back and be thankful that your job loss was the beginning of an entirely different and infinitely more fulfilling career path. 

Irene

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